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Oct. 16, 2007

APCO Worldwide is hammering out final details in an agreement to provide global PR for energy rich Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Union state that was featured in the movie "Borat."

Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev with Dick Cheney at the White House last year.

The D.C.-based independent PA/government relations firm has received a payment of $487,777 to cover work done here through the end of the year for the government of strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has led Kazakhstan since independence 15 years ago. He visited President Bush last September.

Elizabeth Jones, former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, is a member of APCO's international advisory board. She was the State Dept.'s senior advisor for Caspian Sea energy diplomacy.

Kazakhstan is embroiled in a fight with western oil companies over the development of a field in the Caspian. The Independent (Oct. 15) called the field "the most important oil discovery in three decades" and one that could put Kazakhstan into the "big league of oil producers."

Nazarbayev has stepped up ties with "axis of evil" member Iran, holding a joint press conference with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Oct. 15 at which they promised to boost trade to the annual $10B mark.

APCO reports to Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan's Ambassador in D.C.

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